1. What information do I share?

Knowledge is power, but only when it’s used. What information should I share? When should I share it, and why should I share it?

2. Who goes first?

If I let them make the first proposal, they might offer me more than I was expecting. But what if it’s worse — much worse?

3. Where do I pitch? 

If I go extreme, I’ll have plenty of wiggle room and I might structure their expectations as to where the deal will be done. But what if I’m so unrealistic that I get shown the door?

4. Do I change my mind? 

If my strategy’s not working or my objectives aren’t realistic, do I change or recalibrate them? If I do, will they see that as a sign of weakness and come after me?

5. Losing the argument.

If they’ve got a point, do I try to argue fruitlessly against it — or do I accept their point and make a concession?

6. Assumptions.

If I don’t know, should I assume? If I do, I could get it horribly wrong. If I don’t, I’ll never make a decision.

7. Do I ask for what I want? 

If I do, they might not give it to me. But if I don’t, they’re going to have to guess.

8. Should I give them what they want? 

If I do, they might not give me what I want. But if I don’t, then why would they give me what I want?

9. When do I stop? 

If I leave the negotiating table too soon, I might miss an opportunity. If I stay too long, I’ll risk unraveling the deal and having to start again.

10. Should I threaten a sanction? 

If I do, it may raise the temperature and destabilize the negotiation. If I don’t, I’m losing power.